Hokies to Play Kansas in the Orange Bowl

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It’s official. The Hokies have earned their fifth BCS bowl appearance under Frank Beamer. Virginia Tech (11-2), champions of the Atlantic Coast Conference, will travel to Miami to take on the #8 Kansas Jayhawks in the FedEx Orange Bowl. The game will be held on January 3, and will be televised by Fox at 8pm. The Hokies finished #3 in the final BCS standings.

Final BCS
— ESPN.com

Kansas finished their season 11-1, with their lone loss coming last weekend to Missouri. The Jayhawks had a very strong season from a record standpoint, but their season is somewhat marred by their strength of schedule, which ranks 109th out of 119 teams.

Kansas has a high-powered offense that is averaging 491.1 yards per game. They are led by quarterback Todd Reesing, who threw for 3,259 yards on the season. Reesing had 32 touchdown
passes and just six interceptions.

The Hokies finished #3 in the BCS standings following Saturday’s games. Tech finished first in the computer rankings, but were jumped in the Coaches’ Poll by LSU and Oklahoma. In the Harris Poll, LSU, Oklahoma and USC all jumped the Hokies. The jump by USC was the most puzzling.
The Trojans finished with two losses, yet jumped from ninth to fifth in the Harris Poll after
a 24-7 win over a UCLA team that finished just 6-6 overall.

VT finished fifth in the Coaches’ Poll, and sixth in the Harris Poll.

Tech’s BCS average was 0.8703, just ahead of Oklahoma, who finished with an average of 0.8572. Both teams were well behind #2 LSU, who had an average of 0.9394. LSU will face #1 Ohio State for the National Championship.

Virginia Tech made their first trip to a BCS bowl (then the Bowl Alliance) back in 1995. The Hokies were co-champions of the Big
East and earned a berth in the Sugar Bowl in New Orleans. Tech was expected to lose to Texas, but a dominating defensive performance sparked a 28-10 upset and the Hokies’ first finish in the Top 10.

Virginia Tech shared the Big East crown again in 1996, and the Hokies were selected by the Orange Bowl to take on Nebraska. This game didn’t go as well as the Sugar Bowl, and although Tech was in the game through three quarters, the Cornhuskers took over the fourth quarter and won 41-21.

The Hokies went undefeated in 1999, led by quarterback Michael Vick and defensive end Corey Moore. They met #1 Florida State for the National Championship in the Sugar Bowl on January 4, 2000. Tech led 29-28 after three quarters of play, but Florida State prevailed 46-29 after a big fourth quarter. The Hokies finished #2 in the nation, and 1999 is generally considered VT’s best year on the gridiron.

Virginia Tech’s last trip to the BCS came in 2004, when Tech won the ACC and met undefeated Auburn in the Sugar Bowl. Auburn was one of three undefeated teams that year, but USC and Oklahoma played for the National Championship. The Hokies played the Tigers tough, but missed some big chances in the redzone and fell 16-13.

TSL will have continuing coverage of the 2007 football season, as well as the Hokies’ trip to the Orange Bowl, in the weeks to come.

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